Everyone has routines for their daily life, and for those of us with autism structure and routine helps us function. Having a set schedule can be extremely useful for children with autism as it can help them feel safe in their environment. Setting that schedule is easier said than done.For people with autism routine and structure can enhance life as well as help control change. Read how to help your child with ASD in the following blog. Click To Tweet
What are the best ways to create a routine for your child?
There are many different techniques to help your child keep their schedule. Of all of those techniques, these are the four we think are most effective. Keep in mind that if your child responds better to other techniques, then you should use those strategies.
- Stay Consistent
- Use Visual Supports
- Use Prompts for Transitions
- Encourage Your Child
1) Stay Consistent
Once you have set a schedule for your child, the most important thing is to be consistent with your child. If the schedule says to brush their teeth at 8:30 am, then you should have them brush their teeth at that time every day. You don’t have to be militant, but you do need to be consistent.
2) Use Visual Supports
Some of you may be wondering what visual supports are, so let’s go over them. Visual schedules and visual cues can help children with ASD keep their schedule by giving them a physical reinforcement of the routine you both have established. They also make maintaining routines interactive and fun.
3) Use Prompts for Transitions
Prompting your kids can help relieve the stress of change for them. A ten-minute warning before changing activities can help your child adjust more smoothly to switching to the next thing in your daily routine. For example, if you are taking a trip to the grocery store, give your child a twenty-minute warning before you start to leave.
4) Encourage Your Child
Perhaps this is the most important tip we can give you: encourage your child in their progress. No one wants to feel like they are failing at something, so positive reinforcement can help curb problem behaviors, and it can let your child on the autism spectrum know that they are doing well.
Patience is Key
Above all, be patient with your child. Adjusting to a new schedule can be difficult for people on the spectrum, even more so than for neurotypical people. Stay patient as they adjust because that is the fastest way to help them adjust.
Help Your Child Feel Safe
Predictable routines help your child feel safe, and that they have a sense of control over the change in their lives. While setting this schedule can take work, it is worth it in the end.
Contact us to learn more about how to put routine and structure in your child’s life.